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10 Fun Things to Do in Frankfurt

The old town in Frankfurt with colourful, late gothic style buildings and a girl standing in the square

10 Fun Things to Do in Frankfurt

Frankfurt is one of Germany’s biggest cities and the financial centre of the country. Thanks to this, it boasts some of the largest skyscrapers in Europe, giving it an impressive skyline. While common around the globe, a view like this is pretty rare in Europe. The city sits on the river ‘Main’, this along with the financial district’s skyline has led to the rather amusing nickname ‘Mainhattan’. But, it’s not all bankers in suits and tall buildings, Frankfurt has another side to it.

The botanical garden in Frankfurt. Macro of red flowers with a large needle building out of focus in the background

Things To Do In Frankfurt

There are a host of various museums, a beautiful river and older parts of town. Some of the squares and cobbled streets make you feel like you’ve travelled back in time. It’s good to see the many faces of the city and so we’ve included a bit of everything in our list of things to do in Frankfurt.

10 Fun Things To Do In Frankfurt

1. Palmengarten

A large needle style building framed by flowers and a park

There are a few botanical gardens in Frankfurt, but Palmengarten is the standout. They have a vast collection of plants and trees from all around the world.

They have outside areas which are very nice in the summer. But the highlights are the enormous indoor glasshouses. They have everything from arctic and alpine to tropical plants and cactus.

It’s probably best to set aside a few hours to visit here. The time seems to go very fast as you walk around and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

2. Römerberg – Step Back in Time

A beautiful old town with late gothic style buildings made with wooden beams and colourful paint and patterns

Römerberg is a picturesque square in the old town, or ‘Altstadt’, of Frankfurt. The charming medieval buildings surrounding the square include the Römer – the city’s Townhall for over 6 centuries!

On the other sides of the plaza there are some quaint half wooden buildings. A few of these are bars and restaurants with seating outside. It’s a great place to relax and admire the view with an apfelwein or a bite to eat!

3. St. Bartholomew Cathedral

A red gothic church on a sunny day framed by trees

Frankfurt Cathedral, also known as Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew, was a significantly important site in the 16th-18th centuries. Many kings and Holy Roman Emperors were elected and coronated here.

As well as it’s historical importance, it’s an impressive sight. A huge, red, gothic style spire towering over the old town. You can climb the steps to the top for a small fee, but it’s not for the faint-hearted!

4. River Cruise

A girl sat on a night river cruise boat with beers

There are many river cruises running on the river Main. But for an extra special one, go for the night time cruise which leaves around sunset.

Relax and take in the sights of the city, the skyline and the many varied bridges along the river. All while enjoying a drink from the bar on the boat!

5. Main Tower

A huge glass skyscraper against the sky

Main Tower is a 200m 56-storey building in the business district of the city. It’s the 4th highest building in Frankfurt, and actually the 4th highest building in Germany.

Trivia: 18 of the 20 tallest buildings in Germany are in Frankfurt!

You can take an elevator to the top of Main Tower for an amazing panoramic view of the city. The fee is only €7.50, which is great value when you compare it to some cities around the world.

6. Iron Bridge

It feels like every city these days has a bridge filled with padlocks and Frankfurt is no exception! The Iron Bridge, or Eisener Steg, is a very cool, industrial looking footbridge crossing the river Main. It’s now adorned with thousands of locks of couples declaring their love.

The bridge was actually destroyed by the Nazi forces towards the end of World War II, but was rebuilt just a year later.

7. Lunch on a Boat

A girl sat on a boat restaurant with drinks

If you’re crossing the Iron Bridge from the main side then look down to your right and you’ll see a docked boat that’s actually a restaurant. It’s a nice setting for a spot of lunch on the water with a view of the skyline.

If you’re not hungry why not stop for a quick beer. It’s especially nice when the sun is shining and the canopies are open!

8. Sachenshausen

A landscape shot of the river in Frankfurt with an old iron bridge in view

On the opposite side of the river to the main city is the area known as Sachenshausen. The area is famous for it’s orchards and of course the apfelwein that it produces. Apfelwein translates to apple wine but it’s actually cider.

Similar to Altstadt it’s much more traditional looking than the financial and buisness areas. Stop by for an authentic local apfelwein. If you’re looking for a late night in the city, this is the place to go. The bars are numerous and very busy, long into the night!

9. Relax on the Riverbank

A night landscape shot of the river Frankfurt

The river Main, once the lifeblood of the city, is still an important aspect of the city. There are many museums clustered around the river and it’s a popular place for people to hang out together.

Both sides are equally as nice, but the west side tends to be busier than the east to walk along. You can do this at any time of the day. Even at night the riverbanks are bustling with young groups of friends and families.

10. Opera House

A large opera house in cream coloured stone with a large fountain in front

The Alte Oper in Frankfurt is a beautiful building that was rebuilt decades after the Second World War. There is a pretty square outside with a nice fountain.

They do have shows and concerts here, but it’s worth a visit just to see the building.

More Ideas

If you’re still looking for more things to do then why not visit some of the museums. The museumsufer is the collection of museums lined up on the banks of the river. They are varied and have vast collections from art, architecture, film and more.

A modern art piece of a tram appearing to have either crashed and buried itself or emerging from the floor

Another suggestion (one that’s on our bucket list incidentally), is to come during the Christmas period and visit the huge Christmas markets here. Germany is famed for it’s magical Christmas markets, armed with many Glühwein and pretzel stalls!

One interesting way to view the city is from the Ebbelwei Express. Unfortunaely it wasn’t running while we were there, so we can’t speak from first hand experinence. But it’s a way to see the sights of the city, all in the comfort of a tram, with an Apfelwein and snack, what more could you want?!

10 Fun Things To Do In Frankfurt

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